Group pushes for new aquatics centre in Fredericton

The Capital Region Aquatics Facilities Team believes there's an urgent need for a regional aquatics centre in Fredericton.

The group will make a presentation to the city's community services committee during the noon hour Thursday.

Officials with the University of New Brunswick announced earlier this year that the Sir Max Aitken Pool and the Lady Beaverbrook Gym would close in the fall of 2018.

Coun. Steven Hicks, who chairs the committee, said earlier this week that council will take the information and see where the conversations go.

But Hicks said the city's priority continues to be a new Performing Arts Centre in the downtown.

"We need a lot of information before we'd ever consider moving forward with a pool," said Hicks. "That's part of this process is to find out what people need and what we can provide in-house over the next couple of years when the Sir Max [Aitken Pool] does close. We have an indoor pool, and the YMCA has a pool."

Hicks said some of the information they're looking for would be how many people use the current pool, and what kind of facility they'd like to see.

"We've heard about deep diving tanks, 25-metre pools, 50-metre pools, I mean that could be the difference between a $15 million project and a $50 million project," he said.

Hicks said the city has not yet approached the provincial or federal governments to see about funding for an aquatics centre.